Off-Grid Living Forums

ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
Anyone here frequent any active off-grid living forums? Or, anyone here own / run one? I'm talking general discussion here.

The reason I ask is, I am looking at possibly building a loft - at least for the bed in our small farm house. Since I work online a fair amount of the day, I could use the area underneath as my work space / office area. I can run my power panel there, providing all the power necessary for my computers, monitors, network, etc. in the house. Just trying to find a way to create more room without having to add more physical additions to the home, yet. (Already doing that and it has been a nightmare!)

Thanks for any advice you may offer.
Paul

Comments

  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums

    Search google. There's flipping pages and pages of sites, each with a different slant on off grid living. One of them is likely to be what you're after.
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums
    Search google. There's flipping pages and pages of sites, each with a different slant on off grid living. One of them is likely to be what you're after.

    Thanks. I have found some that way.

    But, I was curious if anyone on this site was a member of any of them, and may find a particular site quite useful, with more knowledgeable members - more so than others.

    For example, when I recommend solar forums to others, this is the one I suggest.
    Paul
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums

    It sounds to me that what you're looking at isn't so much an off-grid living project as a construction project; building a loft area. This is not difficult to do if you have the knowledge and experience in construction.

    Planning is foremost; taking measurements and seeing if the space division is viable (sufficient headroom for example). Also checking to see how your local building code will apply; there are nearly always permit requirements for anything structural, as this would be deemed.

    How you utilize the space afterwards is your business. :D
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums
    It sounds to me that what you're looking at isn't so much an off-grid living project as a construction project; building a loft area. This is not difficult to do if you have the knowledge and experience in construction.

    I have someone who I can hire to do the work, and is qualified. I have seen some of his work before. Labor costs here are very reasonable.

    Otherwise, I am also interested in other topics regarding off grid living. I never know what ideas will be offered, that I may actually use myself, that are shared by others. I hope to do the same.

    Planning is foremost; taking measurements and seeing if the space division is viable (sufficient headroom for example). Also checking to see how your local building code will apply; there are nearly always permit requirements for anything structural, as this would be deemed.

    Yeah. We measured it already, and will have about 2 meters at the highest point. So, there will be enough room to walk around in the loft, while utilizing the lower headroom area for storage.

    Local building codes? The definition of building code here is how you choose to build it. If there were building codes, they would apply in the cities of Cambodia, maybe. The farm house it 30 kilometers into the province. It's like the definition of illegal in Cambodia. Here, ill-eagle is a sick bird.

    The most important thing is, for me to make sure it is constructed safely and with the appropriate amount of support.

    I guess it is time for me to find some sort of architectural software.
    Paul
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums

    If there are no official codes then you have to use the "code of good practice" which is based on both engineering facts and common sense. If you can trust your builder to have these you're good. Otherwise you want to watch out for the span vs. framing and the upright supports to be sure all are capable of taking the loading (variable) without sag or collapse. There are reference books like The Span Book which can give you hard facts on this stuff, but ultimately input on the variable has to come from somewhere. This is where local codes usually enter in to it with their requirements for things like wind load or Earthquake resistance.

    Architectural software may allow you to make the design, but won't necessarily tell you if it is safe.

    Sometimes, btw, the local code is rubbish. I've run into that more than once. :roll:

    PS: My daughter was in Cambodia this last year with the Dentists Without Borders project. She loved the country and wants to go back again, if only for the shopping. :D
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums
    If there are no official codes then you have to use the "code of good practice" which is based on both engineering facts and common sense. If you can trust your builder to have these you're good. Otherwise you want to watch out for the span vs. framing and the upright supports to be sure all are capable of taking the loading (variable) without sag or collapse. There are reference books like The Span Book which can give you hard facts on this stuff, but ultimately input on the variable has to come from somewhere. This is where local codes usually enter in to it with their requirements for things like wind load or Earthquake resistance.

    Architectural software may allow you to make the design, but won't necessarily tell you if it is safe.

    Sometimes, btw, the local code is rubbish. I've run into that more than once. :roll:

    PS: My daughter was in Cambodia this last year with the Dentists Without Borders project. She loved the country and wants to go back again, if only for the shopping. :D

    I hear ya. That's why I only allow them to go so far on the projects at hand, before I inspect them to make sure they are safe enough. Granted, I am far from a licensed engineer. My father was a builder, though, who did teach me some things before he passed. I am using that knowledge, as well as what I can learn online, to make sure it passes my "code".

    I just want some software to try and start designing some of these projects, mainly to see if I can.

    Regarding Cambodia, it is not unlike the old west in some aspects. If you have never been here, or to other 3rd world countries in SE Asia, it would definitely be an experience for you. One piece of advice, though - don't drive here. You will age 30 years. :D The only reason I do is, I like to live life on the edge. Driving here? That is one way do it!

    Thanks for your input, Cariboocoot. Truly appreciated.
    Paul
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums

    You can get SketchUp for free: http://www.sketchup.com/
    It will allow you to make some fairly well-detailed plans without costing an arm and a leg, or even a toe nail.
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: Off-Grid Living Forums

    Odd that you posted that. I downloaded SketchUp a little while ago. :)
    Paul
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